The Victorian Department of Education and Training (DET) program selected Mernda Primary School to participate in a Primary Mathematics (PMSS) initiative. The program was designed to upskill primary teachers in government schools to become mathematics education specialists.
The role of the Learning Specialists was around establishing, designing and implementing a program that focused on school improvement in the area of Mathematics. Initially, the Mathematics Partnership Project targeted the Grade 3-6 cohorts with a: ‘student focus’ – to improve student learning outcomes, and a ‘teacher focus’ – to build teachers capacity.
The student focus looked at extending and supporting students’ skills in the area of Mathematics. Programs for students were designed to teach concepts and skills at the students’ point of need, in order to support their learning in the classroom. The teacher focus included working with both the teachers and students in class, on modelling both concepts and lesson structures, and co-teaching mathematical content.
As part of our participation in the initiative, Mernda Primary School’s involvement was evaluated by an independent auditing team. Part of the Learning Specialist project was to regularly evaluate the progression of both the student and teacher development and the effectiveness of the program through data collection and surveys. The Department of Education collected whole school data to assess the impact of this initiative on schools, teachers and students.